The shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves broke their nine-game home losing streak with a gutsy, overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Monday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets having lost 12 of their last 13 games and nine home games in a row. They were also without Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jake Layman, Treveon Graham, and Noah Vonleh due to injury or illness.
And through the first three quarters, things seemed to be going as expected. The Nets led the entire way and took a four-point lead into the final frame.
Then, trailing 89-80, a lineup of Shabazz Napier, Kelan Martin, Jarrett Culver, Robert Covington, and Gorgui Dieng went on a 9-0 run and tied things up. Head coach Ryan Saunders rode the lineup to a brief lead late in the fourth before the Nets tied the game and sent it to overtime.
In overtime, the Wolves shot 7-of-10 from the field and got big-time 3-pointers from Covington and Martin, followed by mid-range jumpers from Napier and Culver. Then, a dagger three from Napier extended the Wolves' lead to 120-113 with 42 seconds remaining, and that was effectively it.
The Wolves struggled to shoot the ball inside the arc in this one but were good from beyond the arc, making 17 of their 44 long-range attempts (38.6 percent). This was simply an attempt of the Wolves sticking with their game plan and finally coming through with some big rebounds and made 3-pointers late in the game
Josh Okogie played 18 minutes off the bench but shot just 1-of-5 and missed both of his 3-point attempts. He also had two rebounds and an assist and was a team-worst -6 on the night.
Jordan Bell had just a four-minute stint in the second half but officially wins the Most Active Bench Cheerleader award in this one.
Just when the Wolves win two out of three games and seem to be playing better, they'll have to head east to Milwaukee to take on the mighty Bucks on New Year's Day at 7 p.m. CT.